KINSTON, NC (WITN) - The state says one person has died in Lenoir County because of Hurricane Matthew flooding.
Governor Pat McCrory announced the death Wednesday afternoon during a briefing in Lumberton, but he gave no additional details.
The latest update from the National Weather Service says the Neuse River will crest in Kinston on Friday evening at 28.1 feet. The record crest set in Hurricane Floyd was 27.7 feet.
The river Wednesday afternoon stood at 24.18 feet.
The Neuse River already set a new record high in Goldsboro early Wednesday morning at 29.73 Ft. The new high exceeded the old record of 28.90 Ft. set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 in Goldsboro.
Power has nearly been restored to the entire city. At the height of the outage, 9,000 customers, which is 75% of Kinston's utility customers, lost power. As of Wednesday morning, the number was reduced to 12.
Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy says he's concerned that some people are not taking the evacuation order seriously. He shared his worries during an interview on WITN News at Sunrise Wednesday morning.
Mayor Murphy says they have knocked on every door of every house that could be impacted by flooding twice, and they plan to do it again today. Murphy says some people say they're not leaving their home because it wasn't flooded during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Murphy's concern is that rivers change course over time. The majority of homes flooded by Floyd are no longer there. Therefore, there will be changes to where these flood waters impact.
Mayor Murphy said he and his family visited the shelter at Lenoir Community College Tuesday night, and 160 people were staying there. He said he was also aware of people staying with friends and family. A second shelter opened at Kinston High School on Tuesday.
People trying to get from Kinston to Greenville and vice versa Wednesday will encounter a major roadblock in Grifton. Emergency officials say the DOT has shut down Highway 11 in both directions at the Pitt/Lenoir County line.